Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Patent requiring "trial and error" and "working backwards" to calculate the value of a claimed variable was invalid for lack of enablement.

Defendant's motion for summary judgment of invalidity for lack of enablement was granted. The patent claimed a light bulb with "a coating . . . having a transmittance level in substantial accordance with" a formula containing the variable "N." "[P]laintiff has conceded that the N value of a bulb can not be measured, and instead can only be assumed . . . The person attempting to make the bulb can then only engage in trial and error to see if he or she can make a bulb with a coating that emits a light that is substantially similar to a desired daylight. Should the maker be successful in doing so, only then can the maker work backwards to determine whether or not the coating of the bulb comports to the formula disclosed in [the patent-in-suit]. Because the [patent] does not describe how to ascertain the appropriate transmittance level for the coating in a manner that can be followed by a person skilled in the art of bulb making, the Patent is not enabled."

Tailored Lighting, Inc. v. Osram Sylvania Products, Inc., 6-04-cv-06435 (NYWD May 14, 2010, Order) (Telesca, J.)

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